September 18, 2002

Where There's Smoke...

I have said that I would tell you about my life as a woodburner, but I'm afraid we must take a bit of a detour. Here's the thing: had we remained in Birmingham, the city of my birth, or even Alabama...even north Alabama...I would never have had the motivation to scout out, chop down, cut up, split, stack, tote, and burn firewood.

For most of the so-called winter down there in Bama, just going through all or any of the aforementioned physical exertions would be more than enough to produce all the body heat a fella could possibly use, and then some. Why bother with messy, heavy wood?

So, what I probably should do in this woodburning tale is tie up some loose ends in the story of how we got to Virginia in the first place. It was shortly after that move back in 1975 that I first truly understood the mortal imperative of maintaining body heat. As I said, this is not a consideration down in the sweltering heart of Dixie.

In Virginia, however, staying warm enough could be a matter of life or death. Although the cold never quite came to that level of danger indoors in our first Virginia winter, having your fanny freeze to the toilet seat was a daily January occurrence until we got the Fisher stove. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Soon I will pick up where the last installment (Rathead Stew) left off and get us from Alabama to Virginia, where our life as woodspersons really began. This just in the way of a warning, you understand. And I am likely to put off writing this part of the story until the days get good and cool, when I am more prone to spend my time indoors, close to the woodstove.

Posted by fred1st at September 18, 2002 04:47 AM
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